To raise funds for the relief effort following the deadly fire last week that destroyed Grenfell Tower in West London, Simon Cowell has gathered together more than 50 artists, including The Who‘s Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend and Queen‘s Brian May, to record a version of Simon and Garfunkel‘s classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
The single, recorded at a studio just half a mile from the building, is out now. You can buy it at the usual digital outlets, and also donate directly at ArtistsforGrenfell.com. All donations made at that website will be used by The London Community Foundation to help those in need.
Among the other artists who participated: Nile Rodgers, Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell, Robbie Williams, Jessie J, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction, Leona Lewis, James Blunt, Emeli Sande, James Arthur, Rita Ora, Dan Smith of Bastille, Nathan Sykes, Dua Lipa and many, many more. A choir of local residents also joined in.
Speaking to the British paper The Mirror, Cowell said, “I felt how everyone felt when they saw the news. I was angry, upset, thinking what the hell do you do?…Do you donate some money? And I was thinking, well maybe we could do a little more than that and that’s how the record came about.”
As for why he chose “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Cowell explained that he had just 12 hours to decide on a song, and that one had appropriate lyrics.
When you listen to the single, you may not be able to recognize the singers’ voices, especially those who are huge in the U.K. but not that well-known in the U.S. Here’s a rundown of who sings what:
Stormzy: Introductory rap
Robbie Williams: “When you’re weary…”
James Blunt: “Feeling small…”
Rita Ora: “When tears are in…”
Craig David: “…your eyes…”
Dan Smith of Bastille: “I will dry them all.”
Liam Payne: “I’m on your side…”
Emeli Sande: “When times get rough…”
Kelly Jones of Stereophonics: “And friends just can’t be found…”
Paloma Faith: “Like a bridge over troubled water…”
Louis Tomlinson: “…I will lay me down.”
Labrinth: “Like a bridge over troubled water…”
Jorja Smith: “…I will lay me down.”
WSTERN: brief rap
Leona Lewis: “When you’re down and out…”
Jessie J: “When you’re on the street…”
James Arthur: “When evening falls so hard…”
Roger Daltrey: “I will comfort you.”
Ella Eyre: “I’ll take your part…”
Anne Marie and Ella Henderson: “When darkness comes…”
Louisa Johnson: “And pain is all around.”
All voices led by Robbie Williams: “Like a bridge over water…”
James Arthur ad-lib: “I will lay me down.”
Choirs: “Like a bridge over troubled water…”
Rita Ora: “I will lay me down.”
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